Over the past 27 years Cannibal Corpse has carved a depraved name for themselves in the brains of death metal afficionados the world over (this reviewer still recalls hearing the thundering bass of “Shredded Humans” for the first time at Toronto’s Apocalypse Club in the early 90s), so expectations were high last Friday at Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom. Led by the growling menace of vocalist George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher, the band relentlessly tore through a ferocious set of fan favourites for a frenzied near-capacity crowd (a notable highlight was “Kill or Be Killed”, which just about tore the moshpit apart, including that one dude in a bear suit.)
With a lineup to die (or kill) for, this tour delivered everything one could hope for from a death metal show and will likely remain one of the highlights of the year. Obituary‘s death groove and unmistakable hatchet riffage was universally well-received, from scene veterans down to the kids whose own death metal growls still cracked in mid-cheer.
Cryptopsy remains a personal highlight, due in part to their endurance as an independent unsigned band but mainly for their startling ferocity as a live act, performing an unrelenting set of highly technical, blistering death metal. Whichever vocalist that longstanding fans of the band may prefer, and judging on this performance as well as the band’s previous tour stop (opening for Gwar), this reviewer feels that Matt McGachy has more than proven himself equal to the task of delivering a nonstop assault of dynamic death metal vocalizations to match the immensity of Cryptopsy’s music.
As the night’s opening act, Abysmal Dawn played a set far too short for our liking (their most recent full-length Obsolescence is an impressive collection of songs that one has waited a long time to see performed live). Nevertheless, the quartet was a pleasant surprise to those who had arrived early and were previously unfamiliar with the California act.
With one of the best tour lineups that death metal fans have seen of late, and given the strength of every band’s performance, this show was a monumental experience. \m/ \m/
The slaughter continues for another 12 days, ending at American death metal ground zero (i.e. Florida) on March 20. See remaining tour dates below: